John and Cathy Bentwood of Plymouth Selected for Granite State Award by Plymouth State University

May 14th, 2012 by blyndes

        

PLYMOUTH, N.H.— Plymouth State University will present the 2012 Granite State Award to John and Cathy Bentwood of Plymouth for their commitment to service reflecting Plymouth State University’s motto, Ut Prosim (That I may serve), at the May 19 graduation ceremony.

“The Bentwoods, as a medical team (he a surgeon and she a registered nurse) and as engaged citizens, have served to reduce human suffering by providing direct aid and assistance to individuals, and guidance and leadership for organizations that offer aid both locally and internationally,” says PSU President Sara Jayne Steen.

John and Cathy Bentwood

Like so many New Hampshire people, John and Cathy came to New Hampshire for a brief sojourn and have stayed for nearly 40 years. What some people see as accomplishments, the Bentwoods see as opportunities. Among their many “opportunities” are creation and maintenance of a free annual cancer screening clinic, a regional free health clinic for the uninsured, and a new shelter for people who are homeless.

“Skin cancers were on the rise. John was talented at identifying and treating these lesions and I was pretty good at starting things that seem doable,” Cathy remembers. One day every July was dedicated to diagnosing skin lesions. Between 90–110 folks would begin lining up outside the door at 8:30 a.m. We didn’t break for lunch; just saw everyone until the last patient left. We got a lot done in an extremely efficient, neighborly way, and no one paid a dime (though sometimes patients delivered homemade cookies the following week),” she said.

The regional free clinic, a team effort, was a little different, but a natural extension nonetheless. The cancer screening was available to everyone across the economic spectrum. The Free Clinic was created for folks who had jobs, but found insurance unaffordable.

The Bentwoods are currently excited to be part of a local collaboration of civilians and veterans who are working to solve the housing shortage for those who’ve enlisted in the military. This national, gold standard, Soldier On project will be the first of its kind in New Hampshire.

Beyond the Plymouth area, both have been medical volunteers providing services to people in need, whether in Honduras, Haiti, Africa or post-Katrina Louisiana. In addition to their medical help, the Bentwoods have fostered children, been engaged as court-appointed advocates for children at risk, sponsored and resettled refugee families from Vietnam, Rwanda and Honduras, and developed educational presentations for New Hampshire legislators by partnering with New Hampshire Peace Action.

The Bentwoods say it has been an honor to be engaged with others in so many capacities.  “Successfully advocating for affordable health care—now that would have been an accomplishment; closing the shelter because homelessness was eradicated would have been an accomplishment. We simply became involved in some very satisfying endeavors,” they said.

-end-

 

In the News

Example Image

Drop-in curling offered in October

PLYMOUTH — The days are getting shorter, the nights are growing colder, winter is coming, which means get all the curling in while there’s still time. The Plymouth State University Ice Arena will be offering drop-in curling on Monday nights from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. through Oct. 13, on Oct. 20 from 9 to 11 […]

Example Image

Experts discuss eating disorders with professionals

MEREDITH — In its sixth year, Plymouth State University’s Eating Disorder Institute held the Eating Disorders Conference, where experts on eating disorders from all around the country made presentations focusing on clinical issues, education and advocacy, and diversity and integrative therapies. The conference, which took place at Church Landing on Thursday and Friday, was titled “Untangling the Web of […]

Example Image

Exchange program draws Chinese students to Pinkerton

By HUNTER McGEE Union Leader Correspondent DERRY — Fourteen Chinese students traveled to Pinkerton Academy this week to participate in an exchange program that strives to bring the two cultures together through shared experiences. The students are from Pinkerton’s sister high school, Tanggu No. 1 School in the town of Tianjin, just southwest of Beijing. […]